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How To Become an Authorized IRS e-file Provider - YouTube video text script


Hi, I’m David Williams, Director, Electronic Tax Administration for the IRS.

Welcome to this video overview of how to become an authorized e-file provider. This is just one of several IRS initiatives to assist tax preparers.

The IRS partnership with tax preparers has been critical to the success of electronic filing. IRS e-file has safely and securely transmitted 800 million tax returns since 1990.

It’s a money saver for you, increasing your productivity and helping you build your business. Plus, it’s a service that the vast majority of taxpayers now expect as routine—nearly 70 percent of all federal returns are now e-filed.

IRS e-file is safe, it’s easy and it’s time for you to join our partnership.

Here’s how.



Before you begin the online e-file provider application, you must create an IRS e-Services account.  The process can take several days, so plan accordingly.

IRS e-Services is a suite of online tools that will allow you to interact electronically with the IRS on a number of issues. You can find it by typing “e-services” in the search box on IRS dot gov.

Here are a few points to remember when creating your account.

Every principal and responsible official in your firm must sign up for e-Services. You can find definitions of a principal and a responsible official in IRS Publication 3112.

In addition to your legal name, Social Security Number, birth date, phone number and e-mail address, you will need to provide your home mailing address. That’s because confirmation of your account will be mailed to you.

You will also need to provide your Adjusted Gross Income from the current or prior tax year.

Once we verify your information, we will mail you a confirmation code.

Then you must return to IRS e-Services and confirm registration within 28 days of receiving that confirmation code.



Once key people are approved for e-Services, your firm can begin the application to become an authorized e-file provider.

The application process is not simple, but as a tax professional, you understand these steps are necessary to protect the integrity and security of the electronic filing system.  We all have a stake in maintaining the highest standards for e-file providers.

Because the application is so comprehensive, it is designed so that you can save your data from a session, close out and return to it when convenient.

Another caution about time: It can take up to 45 days for the IRS to approve an e-file provider application. So please plan accordingly and allow enough time.

I won’t go through every step of the application, but here are several important items to note.

First, you choose your e-file provider option. If you are a return preparer and want to e-file for clients, select electronic return originator, or ERO.

You will then supply identification information for your firm, including services provided to taxpayers.

Next, you will enter information about each principal and responsible official in your organization.

If the principal or responsible official is someone who is certified or licensed, such as an attorney, CPA or enrolled agent, he or she must mail the IRS proof of current professional status.

All other individuals need to provide fingerprints to the IRS.  You can get a fingerprint card by calling 866-255-0654.

Be fingerprinted by a trained professional—your local police station will likely provide this service for a modest fee or there are commercial services.  Then mail the signed and completed card to the IRS and your application is complete.

It is our job at the IRS to finish the e-file authorization process for you.



The firm and each person listed on your application as either a principal or responsible official must pass a suitability check. This may include: a credit check; a tax compliance check; a criminal background check; and a check for prior non-compliance with IRS e-file requirements.

Once your application is approved, you will get an acceptance letter from the IRS with your Electronic Filing Identification Number, or EFIN.  



Here are some final tips.

You’ll need to shop for software and there are many vendors from which to choose. IRS dot gov has a list of questions you should ask a software vendor.

For step-by-step guidance through the e-file application, download IRS Publication 3112 from IRS dot gov.

Once enrolled, you will be able to serve your clients more effectively. Taxpayers know e-filing is fast and safe—and gets them their refunds much more quickly.

Now, you’re just a click away from improving your business and improving service to clients. Thank you, and thanks for watching.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 19-Nov-2013